Styles Of Closet Organization (Week 50)

October 19, 2014

I have more blazers and jackets than cardigans for toppers.

I have more blazers and jackets than cardigans for toppers.

All the way back in week 3 of The DH Closet Challenge, I realized that proper closet organization can really help or hinder how easy it is (or is not) for me to create an outfit for the day.  And the easier it is for me to get ready in the mornings, the happier I’m going to be with my wardrobe.  I’ve tried multiple ways to organize my closet and I typically shift how it is organized throughout the year.  I’m going to review 4 options for organizing a closet, as well as which one is my favorite.

Option #1- Collected together same type items

This is probably the most common way to organize a closet.  All of the items of the same category are grouped together (jeans, knit tops, cardigans, blazers, etc).  When a closet is organized by items of the same type, I can easily pull one item from each category and assemble my outfit for the day.  By keeping a closet organized by item of the same type, there is still room for creativity with my looks, I’m able to assemble new outfit combinations freely.  Unfortunately, there is one problem with organizing a closet like this, I have to be comfortable creating an outfit from separate pieces.  I have to decide everyday, on the fly, what items to pair together to create my look.  When I do not know what items I enjoy paired best together, I shift my closet to the next style below.

Option #2- Assembled into prearranged outfits

More items pair with my black jeans and dark wash jeans than my ivory and brown jeans.

More items pair with my black jeans and dark wash jeans (right) than my ivory and brown jeans (left).

Unlike the first option, this one is probably the least common.  All of the times are now grouped together into individual outfits.  Since I only have 6 bottoms in my fall/winter wardrobe, I pair together two toppers with each bottom.  In sharp contrast to the style above, when my closet is organized by outfits, I do not have to think at all about what items to pair together.  This is a true grab and go style and I certainly get dressed the fastest when my closet is organized this way.  I am also able to see what pieces are becoming outliers, items that may only work well for one outfit versus other items which are easier to remix.  However, it is also the least visually organized style, everything looks all mixed together.  And it is also the style that takes the longest to set up, because I have to pre-plan what I want my outfit combinations to be.  When I have a lot of new pieces, I shift to this style for a little while so that I can decide what outfit combinations I prefer.  Once I have my arranged outfit combinations I no longer need to group my closet like this and I shift to one of the other styles.

Option #3- Grouping solely by color

Lots of black and navy in my fall/winter wardrobe.

Lots of black and navy (right vs left) in my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.

I rarely organize my closet like this because I find this style the hardest to work with.  As with option #1, I have to be comfortable pairing together pieces on the fly in the mornings when getting ready.  This style is the most visually appealing, especially when I owned a large variety of colors.  By organizing by colors I was able to quickly see what colors I owned a lot of and which colors I had very items for.  When I want to purge my wardrobe, I find it helpful to visualize where I had an overflow of colors and where I have outlier items.  I was able to identify my color capsules for summer easily, when I organized my closet with this style.

Option #4- Rotating items within the same category

If it is a warm fall day the wine short sleeve top is next, otherwise it's the ivory LS knit top.

If it is a warm fall day the wine short sleeve top is next, otherwise it’s the ivory LS knit top.

This is a hybrid of some of the above options and the style my closet usually has.  The main difference here is, I rotate my pieces as I wear them.  Since I am trying to own less clothing, I am going to repeat items more often.  But I do not want to loose track of when I wear something (or if I’m not using it) nor do I want to sport the same piece on the same day week after week.  And I still don’t want to have to think about what to wear for too long every morning.  So I rotate my items within their categories.  Jeans that are worn are put to the end of the line.  By rotating my pieces I don’t have to think about what bottoms to sport next, I just grab the one in front and build my outfit from there.  And since I tend to repeat the same outfits again and again, I don’t have to maintain organizing my closet by outfits, they are already in my head.  I can gab and go, but if I want to stretch my comfort zone my closet is still organized in a way that let’s me brain storm a new outfit combination.

What’s your favorite way to organize your closet?


  1. I normally organise my wardrobe by catagory then colour, supplemented with a photo album of outfit ideas for different activities and weather. Photos help because although in theory certain items will go together, in practice often they are too long, short, the wrong fabric, shade, or just don’t look quite right. You can even attach a copy of the photo to the hanger of an item to remind you what works best.

    1. Photos are a great idea! I often take photos of my outfits because I feel a photo does not like about fit of the items and if the colors really flatter or not, but keeping a photo of ideal outfit combinations is a great idea. Thanks for stopping by!

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